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Edwin Abbott Abbott

Data di nascita: 20. Dicembre 1838
Data di morte: 12. Ottobre 1926

Edwin Abbott Abbott è stato uno scrittore, teologo e pedagogo britannico.

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Flatlandia
Edwin Abbott Abbott

„Immoral, licentious, anarchical, unscientific — call them by what names you will — yet, from an aesthetic point of view, those ancient days of the Colour Revolt were the glorious childhood of Art in Flatland — a childhood, alas, that never ripened into manhood, nor even reached the blossom of youth. To live was then in itself a delight, because living implied seeing.“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott, libro Flatlandia

Origine: Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (1884), PART I: THIS WORLD, Chapter 8. Of the Ancient Practice of Painting
Contesto: When all others had succumbed to the fascinations of corporal decoration, the Priests and the Women alone still remained pure from the pollution of paint.
Immoral, licentious, anarchical, unscientific — call them by what names you will — yet, from an aesthetic point of view, those ancient days of the Colour Revolt were the glorious childhood of Art in Flatland — a childhood, alas, that never ripened into manhood, nor even reached the blossom of youth. To live was then in itself a delight, because living implied seeing.

„Although I had less than a minute for reflection, I felt, by a kind of instinct, that I must conceal my experiences from my Wife.“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott, libro Flatlandia

Origine: Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (1884), PART II: OTHER WORLDS, Chapter 20. How the Sphere Encouraged Me in a Vision
Contesto: p>Although I had less than a minute for reflection, I felt, by a kind of instinct, that I must conceal my experiences from my Wife. Not that I apprehended, at the moment, any danger from her divulging my secret, but I knew that to any Woman in Flatland the narrative of my adventures must needs be unintelligible. So I endeavoured to reassure her by some story, invented for the occasion, that I had accidentally fallen through the trap-door of the cellar, and had there lain stunned.The Southward attraction in our country is so slight that even to a Woman my tale necessarily appeared extraordinary and well-nigh incredible; but my Wife, whose good sense far exceeds that of the average of her Sex, and who perceived that I was unusually excited, did not argue with me on the subject, but insisted that I was ill and required repose.</p

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„I despair not that, even here, in this region of Three Dimensions, your Lordship's art may make the Fourth Dimension visible to me; just as in the Land of Two Dimensions my Teacher's skill would fain have opened the eyes of his blind servant to the invisible presence of a Third Dimension, though I saw it not.“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott, libro Flatlandia

Origine: Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (1884), PART II: OTHER WORLDS, Chapter 19. How, Though the Sphere Showed Me Other Mysteries of Spaceland, I Still Desired More; and What Came of It
Contesto: I despair not that, even here, in this region of Three Dimensions, your Lordship's art may make the Fourth Dimension visible to me; just as in the Land of Two Dimensions my Teacher's skill would fain have opened the eyes of his blind servant to the invisible presence of a Third Dimension, though I saw it not.Let me recall the past. Was I not taught below that when I saw a Line and inferred a Plane, I in reality saw a Third unrecognized Dimension, not the same as brightness, called "height"? And does it not now follow that, in this region, when I see a Plane and infer a Solid, I really see a Fourth unrecognized Dimension, not the same as colour, but existent, though infinitesimal and incapable of measurement?

„To my readers in Spaceland the condition of our Women may seem truly deplorable, and so indeed it is. A Male of the lowest type of the Isosceles may look forward to some improvement of his angle, and to the ultimate elevation of the whole of his degraded caste; but no Woman can entertain such hopes for her sex.“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott, libro Flatlandia

Origine: Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (1884), PART I: THIS WORLD, Chapter 4. Concerning the Women
Contesto: To my readers in Spaceland the condition of our Women may seem truly deplorable, and so indeed it is. A Male of the lowest type of the Isosceles may look forward to some improvement of his angle, and to the ultimate elevation of the whole of his degraded caste; but no Woman can entertain such hopes for her sex. "Once a Woman, always a Woman" is a Decree of Nature; and the very Laws of Evolution seem suspended in her disfavour. Yet at least we can admire the wise Prearrangement which has ordained that, as they have no hopes, so they shall have no memory to recall, and no forethought to anticipate, the miseries and humiliations which are at once a necessity of their existence and the basis of the constitution of Flatland.

„The Fourth Gospel is admitted by all Greek scholars to be, in parts, extraordinarily obscure.“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott

Johannine Grammar (1906), p. 5
Contesto: The Fourth Gospel is admitted by all Greek scholars to be, in parts, extraordinarily obscure. No honest writer of history is obscure, as a rule, except through carelessness or ignorance — ignorance, it may be, of the art of writing, or of the subject he is writing about, or of the persons he is addressing, or of the words he is using, but, in any case, ignorance of something. But an honest writer of poetry or prophecy may be consciously obscure because a message, so to speak, has come into his mind in a certain form, and he feels this likely to prove the best form — ultimately, when his readers have thought about it.

„When our Lord uttered (or implied) the words "Do this in remembrance of me," He meant "Do as I am doing." And what He was doing was not a mere "dealing" of "bread" but a "drawing out" of the "soul."“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott

Paradosis : Or "In the Night in Which He Was (?) Betrayed" (1904), "Introduction : Paradosis or Delivering Up the Soul", p. 6
Contesto: When our Lord uttered (or implied) the words "Do this in remembrance of me," He meant "Do as I am doing." And what He was doing was not a mere "dealing" of "bread" but a "drawing out" of the "soul." This view does not deny that He also contemplated a continuous celebration of the evening meal of thanksgiving in future generations; but it asserts something more, namely, that He meant a spiritual act, "'Draw out your souls' to one another, and for one another, according to your ability, even as I give my soul, my complete self, delivering it up to you as a gift, and for you as a sacrifice."
There is nothing contrary to history and historical development in the belief that Christ taught this doctrine — of self-sacrifice, or losing the soul, of giving the soul as a ransom for others, or drawing out the soul to those in need of help.

„During my slumber I had a dream. I thought I was once more by the side of the Sphere, whose lustrous hue betokened that he had exchanged his wrath against me for perfect placability. We were moving together towards a bright but infinitesimally small Point, to which my Master directed my attention.“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott, libro Flatlandia

Origine: Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (1884), PART II: OTHER WORLDS, Chapter 20. How the Sphere Encouraged Me in a Vision
Contesto: During my slumber I had a dream. I thought I was once more by the side of the Sphere, whose lustrous hue betokened that he had exchanged his wrath against me for perfect placability. We were moving together towards a bright but infinitesimally small Point, to which my Master directed my attention. As we approached, methought there issued from it a slight humming noise as from one of your Spaceland bluebottles, only less resonant by far, so slight indeed that even in the perfect stillness of the Vacuum through which we soared, the sound reached not our ears till we checked our flight at a distance from it of something under twenty human diagonals."Look yonder," said my Guide, "in Flatland thou hast lived; of Lineland thou hast received a vision; thou hast soared with me to the heights of Spaceland; now, in order to complete the range of thy experience, I conduct thee downward to the lowest depth of existence, even to the realm of Pointland, the Abyss of No dimensions.

„Until the moment when I placed my mouth in his World, he had neither seen me, nor heard anything except confused sounds beating against — what I called his side, but what he called his INSIDE or STOMACH; nor had he even now the least conception of the region from which I had come. Outside his World, or Line, all was a blank to him; nay, not even a blank, for a blank implies Space; say, rather, all was non-existent.“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott, libro Flatlandia

Origine: Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (1884), PART II: OTHER WORLDS, Chapter 13. How I had a Vision of Lineland
Contesto: Describing myself as a stranger I besought the King to give me some account of his dominions. But I had the greatest possible difficulty in obtaining any information on points that really interested me; for the Monarch could not refrain from constantly assuming that whatever was familiar to him must also be known to me and that I was simulating ignorance in jest. However, by persevering questions I elicited the following facts:It seemed that this poor ignorant Monarch — as he called himself — was persuaded that the Straight Line which he called his Kingdom, and in which he passed his existence, constituted the whole of the world, and indeed the whole of Space. Not being able either to move or to see, save in his Straight Line, he had no conception of anything out of it. Though he had heard my voice when I first addressed him, the sounds had come to him in a manner so contrary to his experience that he had made no answer, "seeing no man", as he expressed it, "and hearing a voice as it were from my own intestines." Until the moment when I placed my mouth in his World, he had neither seen me, nor heard anything except confused sounds beating against — what I called his side, but what he called his INSIDE or STOMACH; nor had he even now the least conception of the region from which I had come. Outside his World, or Line, all was a blank to him; nay, not even a blank, for a blank implies Space; say, rather, all was non-existent.His subjects — of whom the small Lines were men and the Points Women — were all alike confined in motion and eye-sight to that single Straight Line, which was their World. It need scarcely be added that the whole of their horizon was limited to a Point; nor could any one ever see anything but a Point. Man, woman, child, thing — each was a Point to the eye of a Linelander. Only by the sound of the voice could sex or age be distinguished. Moreover, as each individual occupied the whole of the narrow path, so to speak, which constituted his Universe, and no one could move to the right or left to make way for passers by, it followed that no Linelander could ever pass another. Once neighbours, always neighbours. Neighbourhood with them was like marriage with us. Neighbours remained neighbours till death did them part.Such a life, with all vision limited to a Point, and all motion to a Straight Line, seemed to me inexpressibly dreary; and I was surprised to note the vivacity and cheerfulness of the King.

„Though we cannot SEE angles, we can INFER them, and this with great precision.“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott, libro Flatlandia

Origine: Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (1884), PART I: THIS WORLD, Chapter 5. Of Our Methods of Recognizing One Another
Contesto: Though we cannot SEE angles, we can INFER them, and this with great precision. Our sense of touch, stimulated by necessity, and developed by long training, enables us to distinguish angles far more accurately than your sense of sight, when unaided by a rule or measure of angles.

„I declared that I could say nothing more, and that I must commit myself to the Truth, whose cause would surely prevail in the end.“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott, libro Flatlandia

Origine: Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (1884), PART II: OTHER WORLDS, Chapter 22. How I Then Tried to Diffuse the Theory of Three Dimensions by Other Means, and of the Result
Contesto: After I had concluded my defence, the President, perhaps perceiving that some of the junior Circles had been moved by my evident earnestness, asked me two questions: —1. Whether I could indicate the direction which I meant when I used the words "Upward, not Northward"?2. Whether I could by any diagrams or descriptions (other than the enumeration of imaginary sides and angles) indicate the Figure I was pleased to call a Cube?I declared that I could say nothing more, and that I must commit myself to the Truth, whose cause would surely prevail in the end.The President replied that he quite concurred in my sentiment, and that I could not do better. I must be sentenced to perpetual imprisonment; but if the Truth intended that I should emerge from prison and evangelize the world, the Truth might be trusted to bring that result to pass. Meanwhile I should be subjected to no discomfort that was not necessary to preclude escape, and, unless I forfeited the privilege by misconduct, I should be occasionally permitted to see my brother who had preceded me to my prison.

„You could leave this Plane yourself, if you could but summon up the necessary volition. A slight upward or downward motion would enable you to see all that I can see.“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott, libro Flatlandia

Origine: Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (1884), PART II: OTHER WORLDS, Chapter 17. How the Sphere, Having in Vain Tried Words, Resorted to Deeds
Contesto: I groaned with horror, doubting whether I was not out of my senses; but the Stranger continued: "Surely you must now see that my explanation, and no other, suits the phenomena. What you call Solid things are really superficial; what you call Space is really nothing but a great Plane. I am in Space, and look down upon the insides of the things of which you only see the outsides. You could leave this Plane yourself, if you could but summon up the necessary volition. A slight upward or downward motion would enable you to see all that I can see.

„The Art of Sight Recognition, being no longer needed, was no longer practised; and the studies of Geometry, Statics, Kinetics, and other kindred subjects, came soon to be considered superfluous, and fell into disrespect and neglect even at our University. The inferior Art of Feeling speedily experienced the same fate at our Elementary Schools….“

—  Edwin Abbott Abbott, libro Flatlandia

Origine: Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (1884), PART I: THIS WORLD, Chapter 9. Of the Universal Colour Bill
Contesto: The Art of Sight Recognition, being no longer needed, was no longer practised; and the studies of Geometry, Statics, Kinetics, and other kindred subjects, came soon to be considered superfluous, and fell into disrespect and neglect even at our University. The inferior Art of Feeling speedily experienced the same fate at our Elementary Schools.... Year by year the Soldiers and Artisans began more vehemently to assert — and with increasing truth — that there was no great difference between them and the very highest class of Polygons, now that they were raised to an equality with the latter, and enabled to grapple with all the difficulties and solve all the problems of life, whether Statical or Kinetical, by the simple process of Colour Recognition. Not content with the natural neglect into which Sight Recognition was falling, they began boldly to demand the legal prohibition of all "monopolizing and aristocratic Arts" and the consequent abolition of all endowments for the studies of Sight Recognition, Mathematics, and Feeling. Soon, they began to insist that inasmuch as Colour, which was a second Nature, had destroyed the need of aristocratic distinctions, the Law should follow in the same path, and that henceforth all individuals and all classes should be recognized as absolutely equal and entitled to equal rights.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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